Ross Kennedy is the Chief Executive Africa Albida Tourism (AAT).

Personal Details

Married – wife Karen.
Four children, five grandchildren.

No other information could be found on his age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

1968 to 1972 – Prince Edward High School.
1973 to 1976 - Hospitality and Hotel Management, South Devon Technical College, Torquay, UK.

Service / Career

1972 – Intern, Jameson Hotel.
1983 to 1992 – Director, Holton Hotels Pvt Ltd, Bristol, United Kingdom.
1991 to present – Chief Executive, Africa Albida Tourism.
[1]

Events

In 2015, Ross Kennedy was awarded the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) award, Tourism Industry Personality of the Year. Ross is Chief Executive at Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), based in Harare. AAT properties include Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, which has won the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) award every year since its inception in 1995.
Victoria Falls has become the Destination Hub of Zimbabwe. With a 48 percent increase in travellers from January-April 2017 to January-April 2018. That is 17,000 people. The new airport in Vic Falls has opened up travel and there are currently 55 flights per week to and from the Victoria Falls airport. [2]


In August 2015, Africa Albida Tourism chief executive Ross Kennedy won the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism Tourism Personality of the Year Award, presented by Deputy Minister of Tourism Walter Kanhanga. Also in attendance were AAT group chairman Dave Glynn and ZCT president Francis Ngwenya. [3]


In March 2018, it was reported that tourism to Zimbabwe had hit a record high. The increase, which equalled the visitor figures for 1999, has been credited to the removal of police roadblocks from the country’s main roads and other interventions following the new political dispensation.
Africa Albida Tourism chief executive, Ross Kennedy, speaking at a tourism conference in Berlin, said the significance of the removal of roadblocks will be seen quickly because the Europeans used to do 15-21 days of self-drive in Zimbabwe. They (Europeans) are aware of the developments triggered in November, so if the stability continues tourism can pick up almost immediately. In December alone, we were getting up to 1 000 visitors daily many through the Kazungula Border Post yet we have just one officer there.
Zambezi Travel’s Graham Simmonds added that there was need for new infrastructure in the Victoria Falls in anticipation of the boom in tourism. Holiday Inn Zimbabwe country sales manager, Maxwell Moyo said there need to market the whole country rather than focus on Victoria Falls, as this would enable operators to benefit. Rainbow Tourism Group commercial director, Shupai Marware said: “Tour operators should market the whole country as opposed to Victoria Falls, which no doubt is crowded. We have the Eastern Highlands, the Lowveld, Great Zimbabwe, wildlife parks and much more, therefore, operators must come up with packages that suit the pocket of each visitor.” [4]

At the end of 2018, UK newspaper The Telegraph, included three Africa Albida Tourism properties – Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club and Ngoma Safari Lodge, in Chobe, Botswana – in their Best Hotels in Africa list.
Three major travel guides; Frommer’s, National Geographic Traveler and Lonely Planet, listed Zimbabwe as a top destination for 2019. Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said it had been an incredible year for Zimbabwe tourism. “We continually seek to enhance our products and the experiences offered to our guests and that ethos will continue long into the future.”
[5]


The 25th anniversary of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge prompted an interview with Ross Kennedy in October 2019. He gave some pointers for other operators. Consistency, honesty and integrity have been vital in growing and maintaining strong, respected and sincere relationships with the trade, media and the authorities. And success in creating a trusted brand does not happen overnight. Perseverance and maintaining standards, quality and service despite stretched resources has been key. On the positive side, these challenges have often been overcome by adaptive and innovative thinking and planning. [6]

Zambezi River Authority public relations and communications manager Elizabeth Karonga said on 20 April 2020, at least 3 922 cubic metres per second was recorded compared to 1 007 cubic metres per second on the same date in 2019. The high water levels were due to a significant increase in both rainfall and run-off in the catchment area during the rainy season. The authorities said official data shows that four times more water is now flowing over the world’s largest waterfall than at this time last year. “The flow at the Victoria Falls from the second flood is expected to peak by end of April at more than 4 300 cubic metres per second,” Karonga said. The flows have not been this high since 2010, when they were slightly higher. They were also higher in 2009 and 1978, but the highest flows ever recorded were in 1958 when the peak flow reached an incredible 9 436 cubic metres per second.
However, the Victoria Rainforest is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak! Ross Kennedy, said: It has been quite some time since anyone witnessed the majesty and intensity of this level of water flowing over the Victoria Falls, with the last period of such floods being ten years ago. What a sad and disappointing irony it is, that at this time one of the seven natural wonders of the world is at its absolute finest. The world is in lockdown and very few if any will get to witness or experience this iconic destination in all its splendour. [7]

The 19th annual Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) Golf Day at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club on 20 September 2019 raised US$17, 852. Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), - who coordinated and hosted the tournament - chief executive Ross Kennedy said the success of the VFAPU Golf Day was yet another example of the incredible strength and character of our community in the midst of a very tough economy.
VFAPU head of operations Charles Brightman thanked everyone involved, saying the funds raised annually at this tournament were vital to covering the unit’s operational costs. VFAPU’s 17 scouts, who tackle all forms of poaching in the Victoria Falls region, have arrested 792 serious poachers since the unit was established in 1999. The unit, which works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, has also removed nearly 22 500 wire snares from its operational area, and rescued 243 mammals injured by snares. [8]

  1. Linked In, Linked In, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  2. Personality of the Month: Mr. Ross Kennedy The Tourism Boffin, Harare Magazine, Published: 18 August 2018, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  3. Ross Kennedy Wins ZCT Award, VictoriaFalls24, Published: 20 August 2015, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  4. Zimbabwe inbound tourism hits record high, Newsday, Published: 13 March 2018, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  5. Three of Zimbabwean Hospitality Group’s Properties Make Best Hotels in Africa List, Zimbabwe Situation, Published: 14 December 2018, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  6. CEO, African Albida Tourism, Ross Kennedy, Travel Africa, Published: 29 October 2019, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  7. Vic Falls record decade-high flows, Newsday, Published: 26 April 2020, Retrieved: 30 April 2020
  8. Nearly US$18,000 Raised to Fight Poaching in Victoria Fall, Zimbabwe Situation, Published: 4 October 2019, Retrieved: 30 April 2020